For those of you who are still in the process of choosing an obstetrician & gynaecologist, here’s some useful information to help you out:
What’s the difference between a Gynaecologist and an Obstetrician?
A gynaecologist’s speciality is the care of and treatment of disorders of the female reproductive and urinary systems.
In general, a gynaecologist’s service will include all aspects of primary care – from annual physical exams and pap smears, to more specialised care such as the treatment of issues like infertility.
An Obstetrician is a specialist in the care of pregnant women.
He or she will see a woman throughout her pregnancy journey. This includes prenatal counselling and care, the actually delivery of the baby, and also post-natal care.
O&Gs are trained to handle high-risk situations in pregnancy and childbirth, for example:
- Preeclampsia – this condition is characterised by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine, which may occur in pregnant women. If undiagnosed, it can lead to eclampsia, which can put both the mother and baby at risk.
- Placenta Previa – in this condition, the placenta blocks the pregnant woman’s cervix because it forms low in the uterus in contrast to a normal pregnancy where it is located high up in the uterus, away from the cervix. If this condition is present during labour and delivery, it could cause issues for both mother and child.
Obstetricians also have specialised surgical training should a Caesarean-section operation to deliver the baby be needed.
O&Gs are also able to provide medical management of disorders and diseases of a woman’s reproductive system, and to conduct surgery for treatment if needed.
Choosing a suitable O&G
1. Decide if you want a male or female O&G
In Singapore, male and female O&Gs are all subject to the same rigorous standards of medical practice.
However, you will be discussing very personal gynaecological issues with your O&G, who will have to often examine intimate parts of your body such as your breasts and private parts.
If you are going to be intensely uncomfortable with a male doctor examining these parts of your body and discussing such matters with him, then a female O&G may be the more appropriate choice.
Do note, however, that male O&Gs are required to have a female assistant present in the examination room when examining patients.
Remember, too, that regardless of gender, all O&Gs are highly trained professionals and will do their best to put you at ease. So, keep an open mind and make your decision only after speaking to several O&Gs.
2. Ask for recommendations when choosing an O&G
If any of your friends and family members have babies, are currently pregnant, or trying to conceive, ask them for recommendations.
Having the recommendation of a trusted friend will be very helpful as you can ask about matters such as the O&G’s bedside manners, how pro natural birth he or she is, and the range of fees for pre-natal consultations and delivery charges, even before meeting the doctor.
Online parenting forums are also a great resource for getting recommendations and obtaining feedback about O&Gs. Your family doctor may also be able to help make a referral.
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